Saturday, June 25, 2016

Reflections of a Digital Learning Coach: One Year Later

Almost one year ago, I walked into my new tech lounge with a new title, Digital Learning Coach.  To be frank, I had no idea what to expect.  I knew I loved trying new things; I knew I loved showing others new ideas; I didn’t know what that would look like in this brand new district role.

We are a K-12 building, graduating around 55 per year.  We have never had a digital learning coach; through a grant from the Indiana DOE we were able to get this new position up and running.  But what exactly would I be doing every day? What exactly was my job description? I had a vision in my head, but let’s just say it was more than that.

I read on Twitter a post about wanting a job description for a tech coach job and the response “Anything and everything.”  Truer words have never been spoken.

What does a day or a week look like as a digital learning coach?  No 2 days are ever the same, and I can say I have done things I never even thought I would.  

So here is my job description for a new digital learning coach starting with the obvious and moving the more obscure!
  • Provide trainings during and after school
  • Co-teach or provide mini lessons for another teacher’s class
  • Intake broken pieces of technology, repair those you can, and send off the broken to depot
  • Manage and train a tech team of students to call in broken chromebooks and “play” with tech
  • Restart, reboot, and restart whenever something doesn’t work
  • Build and manage the corporation’s website
  • Provide training and support for those teachers in need for all teachers to have teacher websites loaded on the corporation website
  • Develop how-to guides for new pieces of technology or programs
  • Select, choose, and train for new online programs
  • Call tech support for online textbooks, or anything for that matter
  • Put a lot of screws into the back of chromebooks
  • Load and organize apps onto tablets
  • Contact and organize personal insurance policies for all devices
  • Participate in way too many Twitter chats for ideas
  • Run the corporation Twitter and Instagram accounts
  • Create custom audio QR codes for teachers
  • Teach a lesson in a 1st grade class, then run over to a sophomore class, and change gears quickly
  • Write grants
  • Add and develop a maker space with a 3D printer
  • Google--everything.  I google multiple times a day how to do something.  No shame.
  • Climb into a ceiling and check electrical outlets
  • Explain to students that their chromebook didn’t magically get a broken screen tucked safely away in their case and their backpack.  It didn’t happen.

  • But the coolest, and I’m not going to lie, I’m a nerd… create some totally new and awesome idea with a teacher that snowballs into something you could have never imagined in the beginning

So maybe the easiest way to post the position is just like the response on Twitter… ANYTHING and EVERYTHING!  Be prepared to google, ask questions, and learn something new every day.  

Do I love my new job?  Yes! Are there days I don’t eat lunch until after 2 or not at all?  Yes. Would I change my decision and go back to the high school English classroom? Nope.  I’ll stay right where I am, crazy job description and all.

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